30 ;e Costco Connection FEBRUARY 2016 FEBRUARY 2016
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or another, trying to be there first, which I got
really good at. At some point, through all of my
own travel experiences, I realized that nobody
in news was really covering travel and transportation. Zero. Are you kidding me? Travel
and tourism is the largest industry in the world.
It’s responsible for one in every 10 jobs.
Globally. In some countries, it’s even more than
that. I believe that travel really is front-page
news. How can it not be with that much of the
world so deeply invested in the industry?
CC: Somewhere along the line, you went
from being a tourist to being a traveler.
PG: My definition of a tourist is this: a
victim waiting to happen. My definition of a
traveler is this: a tourist who’s been victimized
and now knows better. I’m the traveler telling
everybody else out there how to become one
too. There are 47 potential points of abuse out
there for tourists, and I hope I’ve been able to
help a lot of people avoid them.
CC: What are some of the rewards of
hitting the road?
PG: Well, travel is one way you can “audit
the course,” so to speak. Travel is a unique
opportunity to play in what is an enormous,
beautiful, diverse playground: the planet
Earth. What you learn when you travel is that
you can still learn. You learn that no matter
who you are or where you’re going or what
you’re doing, you can always learn new things,
see new places, taste new flavors, become
more than you are right this minute. That
really keeps me going. I’m always choosing my
own adventure. Everyone can, and I’m hoping
my work encourages them to try it.
CC: What do you think is the key to
your enduring popularity with audiences?
PG: I’m an Everyman. I’m not traveling as
an elitist. I’m traveling as a surrogate for every-
one, I think. I hope people see me on TV and
think, “Wow, if he can do it, I can definitely do
it.” This is very important to me. It’s also
important to me that I not necessarily pro-
mote travel, but present it. I’m there on TV to
give people information with which they can
make intelligent decisions.
It’s about 11 minutes until Greenberg’s
next vanishing act. A car is waiting to whisk
him to Bob Hope Airport, and he’s studying an
editing monitor, reviewing his duet with Dolly
Parton. He then ducks into a soundproofed
isolation booth to record voiceovers for
upcoming episodes, somehow convincing
time itself that he is its master. Just minutes
later, he asks his audio engineer, “Are we good
here?” When he’s given the green light, he
bounds to his office, scoops up his laptop,
along with the 16 newspapers and 35 magazines he receives on a daily basis (along with
some 750 emails), dons his navy blazer and
gives the room a comprehensive once-over
before embarking on yet another voyage
around the world in far less than 80 days.
In a moment, Greenberg will lead an
almost comical parade of staffers with a spate
of last-minute scheduling queries, editorial
input, travel logistics, shooting requirements
and more. It’s impossible to precisely peg him
in the cultural firmament. He’s quick as lightning; Mensa smart; devoted to truth, justice,
and the American Way; and now—with about
30 seconds until his driver presses pedal to the
metal—about to be the one thing he hopes
never to be: late. C
J. Rentilly is a Los Angeles–based freelance writer.
;e Costco Connection
Greenberg and Rafael
Correa, president of the
Republic of Ecuador, hit
Below: Peter Greenberg pilots King
Abdullah II of Jordan on the king’s
yacht. Bottom: Greenberg at
The Costco Connection
Costco member and Travel Detective
Peter Greenberg will be contributing travel
topics and tips each month as The Costco
Connection’s travel columnist, covering
Costco Travel destinations and offering
insights into how members can make the
most of their vacations. To find out
more about Costco Travel offerings,
go to Costco.com and click “Travel.”
Opposite, on page 31, Greenberg provides
an inside peek into some of Walt Disney
World’s secret experiences. For other
Greenberg articles, enter “Greenberg” on
the online version of The Connection.